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Thread: The Official Video Game Music Rumble

  1. #2601
    you know my username and my avatar arent related Mercenary Raven's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy VIII because guess which one I didn't give up on halfway through FF8's feel more contextual/moody to me, whereas Cross just sounds melodic and nothing else. Probably because I felt absolutely nothing for Cross.

    Final Fantasy VII, I've actually beaten that one too, and some of the tracks on the OST are very well done (except One Winged Angel).
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  2. #2602
    ... topopoz's Avatar
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    I gotta go with Chrono Cross. I do not consider FFVIII as the peak of Uematsu's Career. Although I'll admit VIII has one of the greatest music. Some songs haven't worked well for the game IMO, such as Rivals and some others. What really helped the music of VIII to be great was the Roland Synth he used and the sound itself, compared to VII the quality of sound it's a lot different.
    Chrono Cross on the other hand it is and it always be IMO the best work of Yasunori Mitusda and it's very easy to fall and to appreciate the music of this game. The instrument selection is superb and the quality of melodies and harmonies are captivating, all in all. Amazing

    The other goes for Final Fantasy VII, because Valkyrie Profile, has some Sakuraba type of tracks that I don't like. And of course because I love the music of VII.
    V for Valhalla

  3. #2603
    Grand Shriner Link006's Avatar
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    Chrono Cross, Valkyrie Profile.

  4. #2604
    Katachi-Makoto-Kotowari Szczepan's Avatar
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    Chrono Cross definitely. FFVIII is great, but CC feels like something more than music. It's essence of emotions. Something that gives goosebumps when listening.

    Final Fantasy VII is better overall, but VP is a very solid soundtrack as well.

  5. #2605
    dood aces4839's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy VIII & Final Fantasy VII
    my rare game soundtracks thread: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]
    my extended game music loops thread: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    other great threads:

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  6. #2606
    ... topopoz's Avatar
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    Weird, and there was I thinking that Chrono Cross would result as the winner of this whole rumble.

  7. #2607
    Grand Shriner arthurgolden's Avatar
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    All right folks. We’ve got our winners: Final Fantasy VIII (4-3) and Final Fantasy VII (6-1). On to the semifinals…


    Semifinals, Fight 1

    Vagrant Story by Hitoshi Sakimoto (2000)
    [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.]
    -----> [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    Here is Sakimoto forcefully staking his claim as a major composer unto himself, without Iwata's help. It's a smooth transition from Tactics in terms of mood and instrumentation. But the compositions have several qualities to intensify what Sakimoto had previously accomplished. The density of the strings, chimes, brass, and woodwinds working together, coupled with the slow and sometimes subtle development of the melodies, gives the soundtrack a muddy, sleepy feel that was not common in video game music. Equally surprising are the moments when the music gearshifts suddenly into industrial breakbeats, echoing rim shots, and Twilight Zone-inspired synth lines, only to drop out into gorgeous plucked arpeggios or a wash of violins resolving the music's aggression. This soundtrack is forceful, dark, often militaristic, but also quite beautiful. Maybe because of that, Sakimoto is still intriguing. After all these years, there’s an air of mystique and experimentation that still seeps into every soundtrack he contributes to, be it a surprising harp glissando in the middle of an electronic piece, a Vangelis bass line in the middle of a flute solo, or a mournful trumpet rising out of a battle theme. He has the skills to make complex music accessible to a wide audience, and does so here maybe better than on any other soundtrack he composed.

    vs.

    Final Fantasy VII by Nobuo Uematsu (1997)
    [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.]
    -----> [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    You blow up the reactor, defend yourself against the president, escape the Turks with Aeris, become a prostitute, watch as an entire area of your city is destroyed, climb out of the ruins, sneak into Shinra HQ, find everyone dead, fight your way out, finally leave Midgar, and get to the open-exploration part of the game where you’re usually rewarded with a big, boisterous main theme. And what do you get? A lethargic, almost dirge-like, sweep of strings. If you raced, you’ve only only taken two hours to get to this point. But more likely it’s been three or four, and the tone is set for the rest of the game: darkness and futility. Consider the main themes of Final Fantasy [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], [Hidden link. Register to see links.], and [Hidden link. Register to see links.] and you can see the difference. Even in the slower themes before this game, there was a steady and prominent bass keeping things moving. In contrast, the hopefulness in VII’s music (like when it takes a romantic turn around the :52 mark) is still couched in sadness. As you’re walking across the dark, often barren, industrial landscape, it’s hard to feel optimistic about your mission, visiting towns (Costa Del Sol and the Gold Saucer aside) with themes equally slow, sleepy, and/or melancholy. However, it's easy to be enthralled by what may be Uematsu’s most consistent soundtrack, maintaining its mood and instrumentation for the entire game. And because of that, as the game designer's intended, there is an overriding feeling of light emerging from vast darkness.



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Semifinals, Fight 2

    Final Fantasy Tactics by Masaharu Iwata and Hitoshi Sakimoto (1997)
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    -----> [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    How hard is it to believe that this soundtrack is just one console removed from the SNES and Genesis? From the opening track, you can hear the difference in every aspect of the music: in the quality of the synths, the range and flexibility of the instruments, the concert-hall echo on the piano, and the very manner in which the melody is developed. Gone are the emphases on melodic immediacy and the limitations of sub-minute loops from the previous generation. This is Sakimoto and Iwata bringing video game music into high art with jabbing strings, snare rolls, electronic drums, trumpets blaring and trashcan lids shattering, some pieces rocking enough to shake the blood loose from your ears. Then there are moments of austere beauty like the relaxed, pokey trumpet melody in Attack Team or the pizzicato/harp-driven Hero’s Theme or the plodding Algus or the slippery bowing of Warrior’s Hideout. It's what we've come to expect from Sakimoto and Iwata, with all the hallmarks of their earlier output, exemplified particularly well on Ogre Battle's soundtrack. Except here it's done with a gentler touch, an eye towards subtlety. I tend to like the soporific, string-heavy tracks, but there’s a diverse selection, from the rousting marches to the placid church hymns, that lend a sense of grandeur to the affair and make this one of the great soundtracks of the PlayStation era.

    vs.

    Final Fantasy VIII by Nobuo Uematsu (1999)
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    -----> [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    It’s hard not to hear this soundtrack as a reaction to VII and, in fact, the designers of VIII have said that the game from top to bottom was meant to be brighter and fresher than its predecessor. There are connections between the two—Liberi Fatali as One-Winged Angel 2.0, Roses and Wine as Aerith’s Theme 2.0, the fight songs as variations of the guitar-driven techno fight songs of VII—but there is also a lighthearted, carefree attitude in many of the pieces like Balamb Garden and Breezy that are meant to reflect a school days kind of atmosphere, and succeed, I think. In terms of Uematsu’s entire catalog, it seems he might have been reaching back towards the goofiness of FFIV’s [Hidden link. Register to see links.] with tracks like Silence and Motion and Residents and the multipart baroque Dancing Mad from FFVI with The Castle, while also looking forward with the harpsichord Edea pieces, the orchestral arrangements (his first), and, of course, Eyes on Me—a type of song that, for better or worse, continues to be a staple of Final Fantasy ending music. Therefore, VIII represents a synthesis of much of his previous work, as IX was, and equally a sign of things to come, too. Its emphasis is on reflecting a variety of moods and locations, and it does that well. And like VII, it contains several classic Uematsu pieces that work beautifully in the context of the game and sound beautiful outside of that context, too.


    All those admirable qualities aside, though, we gotta choose the best two. My votes are for Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy VIII.

    VGM [Hidden link. Register to see links.] - Currently N64 soundtracks and ZELDA songs
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  8. #2608
    Katachi-Makoto-Kotowari Szczepan's Avatar
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    Vagrant Story

    Final Fantasy Tactics


    Actually not such a tough choices for me. Some earlier battles were so much tougher than that.
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  9. #2609
    ... topopoz's Avatar
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    The first battle is hard for me... Final Fantasy VII, is a game that I love even today and so does the music, The Main Theme, I still consider it as the best out of all the series. With a simple melody such as "Do, Re, Mi, Si, La, Do, Re Mi, Sol, Fa, Do, Re, Do" varied and harmonized through out all the songs of that soundtrack, the Main Theme shows the culmination of what you can do with a simple melody such as that.

    And then I have Vagrant Story, a game that I love as well. It wasn't love at first sight though. This is one of those that you need to put yourself into it and understand every little detail to understand it. It certainly wasn't thought out to appeal people, it was thought out in a more personal way. The Creative Team involved, working together, thinking of what they can bring to table to make this their ultimate and most ambitious title in every aspect they can think of with the tools they have at disposal.
    That's how I Imagine the Development of this title. And I Imagine Sakimoto given the freedom to offer what he can do best at his compositions.
    You'll encounter terribly simple scores on this soundtrack, such as "Catacomb", simple and kinda uninspired some people will say, I say for it's objective it works superb, It's Gloom, dark, atmospheric, it transports you there and you are helpless, you're not enjoying your trip there, you are fighting through it, staying alive, undead creatures surround you trying to rip your guts off, you're in touch with the unknown and you're trying to discover what's causing all this, getting to know yourself in all that solitude and thus your quest starts.
    And then you will find such complex and varied tracks that are made use of to follow a cutscene, such as those we have Graylands Incident Climax. A composition with 11 to 13 minutes long, the title speaks to you what kind of music you'll expect here. You are experiencing the music that plays during an Incident, that reach to it's Climax.
    A burning place, where treason and deceit are the protagonists. The clash between two separate forces, with the intervention of a 3rd force that comes to mediate the situation, yet things are out of control, it presents us who will unravel all this out, with an enforcing and hopeful fanfare. With every intersection speaking to our ears the desperation and axiety of the human beings involved, speaking it's character every single soul. It then follows a tension moment, members of their own forces discusing with each other, things are getting out of control. This soul manages to infiltrate, a clash takes place, things appear to be over, yet the music tells us something else suddenly things got kinectic and frantic. It slows down, cue the Timpani, feels like walls are crumbling down a Titanic sound yet, where's the Titan?. Show more respect for fairy tales and then the entity makes it's appearance, we reached the Climax, the borders of reality and fiction are now bonded together in climatic battle.
    At the end of this battle everything now calms, as we feel that we walk to just the door of our new Quest, the sun shines bright and an insipiring breeze cools all our senses, the bells are ringing, the French Horn and Trumpets gives us a sign, the strings reach a crescendo and then it concludes with a fine orchestral hit.

    Vagrant Story

    O.O
    --------------------------------------

    For FFT and FFVIII is still a hard one for me. I've never thought that the music of VIII accomplished much for the game that it accomplished much more to the composer rather than the whole product.
    VIII's music is easy to fall for, the timbre of the synth used on this soundtrack is very close to actual instruments, the melodies are more refined and tender. They feel much more Real and less dreamful or overly tragic/emotional compared the previous works of Uematsu.
    Having it's share of Natural and Nostalgic sound, Uematsu managed to balance his "Rock" onto the classical pieces.
    I'm going to repeat myself here, but I've never feel that the music spoke much for the game, it spoke a lot more personally. Probably that's what our composer tried to achieve. As he said that this soundtrack didn't felt the need of Character songs, because he considered them not to be important to the storytelling of the game, yet IMO that's completely the opposite of that the game's story tried to work out.
    And the result was interesting, but somethings didn't matched or felt completely out of place, such is the case of the "Rivals" track and "Eyes on Me", the moment were the track is played felt so out of place, that it actually worked better on the Ending Theme. IMO

    Final Fantasy Tactics on the other hand is another weird one, because I do love the music and there's no moment that feels bad or out of place.
    But from another point of view FFT could be considered as Tactics Ogre 2.0, or the more light-hearted and dreamful version of Tactics Ogre.
    Sure there are many melodies that feel rather different, but both have a share of similarities that can be fairly recognizable.

    It's hard to me to come with a satisfying conclusion to this 2nd battle.

    I'll vote for Final Fantasy VIII, because it has a more interesting background in the terms of the Creative Process of the music.

  10. #2610
    Sewer Diver Smarty's Avatar
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    Vagrant Story

    Final Fantasy VIII
    The second battle was kind of difficult. I don't admire FFVII all that much so the first battle was a cinch for me.

  11. #2611
    dood aces4839's Avatar
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    golly. the best of the best. anyway, Final Fantasy VII & Final Fantasy VIII.

  12. #2612
    Grand Shriner arthurgolden's Avatar
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    This is what it all comes down to. Sakimoto vs. Uematsu. The pictures link to the full soundtracks.


    Final Round


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    vs.

    [Hidden link. Register to see links.]



    My vote is for Final Fantasy VIII.

    This was a tough one. It came down to the fact that I love Final Fantasy VIII's soundtrack. I appreciate Vagrant Story. I enjoy listening to it. I think it's the more consistent soundtrack, and the one that's better suited to the mood and style of its game. But I don't relish each song the way I do with Final Fantasy VIII. I don't enjoy it on the same level. Either way the votes go, though, we'll have a deserving winner.

  13. #2613
    Sewer Diver Smarty's Avatar
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    I'd say I appreciate both soundtracks equally (more or less anyway) but I really would like to see Vagrant Story pull the win here.

  14. #2614
    ... topopoz's Avatar
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    I like this Final Battle...

    Vagrant Story - I've made myself clear about what I think about FFVIII's Music.

    But I've never feel myself that I'm clear to what I think about Vagrant Story's Music.

    I may attempt to describe what i think of every single track like I did up there for those 2 Tracks, I've mainly did that analysis to make a contrast of a very few of the things that you can find on this soundtrack. But I never feel that it's enough.
    The review made by "Jormungad" on this website [Hidden link. Register to see links.]. It's the only thing that I read in the whole internet that comes close to what I feel when I listen to this music.

    I'll probably add more thoughts and perspective into this post later. Right now I'm very tired...

  15. #2615
    you know my username and my avatar arent related Mercenary Raven's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy VIII

  16. #2616
    dood aces4839's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercenary Raven View Post
    Final Fantasy VIII

  17. #2617
    Katachi-Makoto-Kotowari Szczepan's Avatar
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    Vagrant Story

  18. #2618
    Grand Shriner Link006's Avatar
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    Vagrant Story for me.

  19. #2619
    Grand Shriner arthurgolden's Avatar
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    And the winner of the PlayStation Soundtracks battle is…



    [Hidden link. Register to see links.]!
    by Hitoshi Sakimoto (2000)

    Here is Sakimoto forcefully staking his claim as a major composer. It's a smooth transition from Tactics in terms of mood and instrumentation. But the compositions have several qualities to intensify what Sakimoto had previously accomplished. The density of the strings, chimes, brass, and woodwinds working together, coupled with the slow and sometimes subtle development of the melodies, gives the soundtrack a muddy, sleepy feel that was not common in video game music. Equally surprising are the moments when the music gearshifts suddenly into industrial breakbeats, echoing rim shots, and Twilight Zone-inspired synth lines, only to drop out into gorgeous plucked arpeggios or a wash of violins resolving the music's aggression. This soundtrack is forceful, dark, often militaristic, but also quite beautiful. Because of that, there’s an air of mystique and experimentation that seeps into this and every subsequent soundtrack Sakimoto has contributed to, whether it takes the form of a surprising harp glissando in the middle of an electronic piece, a Vangelis bass line in the middle of a flute solo, or a mournful trumpet rising out of a battle theme. He has the skills to make complex music accessible to a wide audience, and does so here maybe better than on any other soundtrack he has composed.

    Bonus: Sakimoto answers why his career [Hidden link. Register to see links.] been a dream come true

    Bonus 2: A [Hidden link. Register to see links.] of the soundtrack

    Record: 3-1, 4-1, 4-0, 4-1, 4-1, 4-3

    Well, that was another great battle. Thanks to all of you who voted! I hope you enjoyed it.

    We’ll vote on the next battle(s) very soon.

    Just a reminder: if you have an idea for a theme that you’d like to do, post it on our [Hidden link. Register to see links.], where you can also see and make suggestions on the themes we’ve already worked on.

    Spoiler!

  20. #2620
    Sewer Diver Smarty's Avatar
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    Can we pleeeeeeease do PS2 already...?

  21. #2621
    Grand Shriner Link006's Avatar
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    Ugh; not another PlayStation rumble. ><

  22. #2622
    Grand Shriner arthurgolden's Avatar
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    PS2 has definitely waited its turn. But since that doesn't appeal to everyone, how would you all feel about doing two at a time again? The Sakimoto rumble is also ready to go.

    Composers, Zelda, and Final Fantasy are all still in the works (as best as I can tell).

    More details about each rumble can be found [Hidden link. Register to see links.].

    Here's the list in chronological order...

    1) The Best of the PS2 – 64 soundtracks - Started June 2010 [ready]

    2) The Best of Hitoshi Sakimoto – 16 soundtracks - Started December 2010 [ready]

    3) The Composers Rumble – 64 composers - Started December 2010 [not ready]

    4) The Best of The Legend of Zelda – 64/128 songs - Started February 2011 [not ready]

    5) The Best of Final Fantasy – 64/128 songs - Started February 2011 [abandoned?]

  23. #2623
    ... topopoz's Avatar
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    I'm very happy with the Winner of this Rumble ^^













    Quite frankly I was going to get a little sad to see another Uematsu soundtrack as the winner of another rumble.

    Regarding the next rumble...

    Well, let's go with the obvious choice. PS2 and Sakimoto.

    To be honest though I'm not excited about PS2. And the Composers Rumble is not ready.

  24. #2624
    Katachi-Makoto-Kotowari Szczepan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurgolden View Post
    how would you all feel about doing two at a time again?
    I'm all for it

    Also very pleased with the result, as well Surely VS well deserved it.

  25. #2625
    Grand Shriner Link006's Avatar
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    Wouldn't mind two; wish there was something else to pick other than PlayStation but it looks like PS2/Sakimoto will have to suffice. Can't see another rumble that is ready.

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